|Publication number||US7654981 B2|
|Application number||US 11/137,133|
|Publication date||Feb 2, 2010|
|Filing date||May 25, 2005|
|Priority date||Nov 26, 2002|
|Also published as||CN1717260A, CN100379469C, DE10255134A1, DE50307260D1, EP1567216A1, EP1567216B1, US20050273053, WO2004047894A1|
|Publication number||11137133, 137133, US 7654981 B2, US 7654981B2, US-B2-7654981, US7654981 B2, US7654981B2|
|Original Assignee||Tecpharma Licensing Ag|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (13), Referenced by (1), Classifications (8), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation of International Application No. PCT/CH2003/000760, filed on Nov. 17, 2003, which claims priority to German Application No. 102 55 134.0, filed on Nov. 26, 2002, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
The invention relates to a removing device for removing, detaching or unconnecting injection needles or needle units from an injection or infusion device, in particular an injection pen, and to removing device integrated with a container for receiving, storing and disposing of used needle units and/or needles.
Injection pens are used for subcutaneously administering an active agent, wherein using the pen and dosing the active agent should be sufficiently simple and reliable that administering may be performed not only by medically trained individuals but also by laymen and/or patients. Using typical known pens, the required dosage amount can be set, an injection needle injected into the selected injection area and the active agent dispensed by simple hand movements.
Generally speaking, however, each injection needle or cannula should only be used for an injection once, whereas the injection pen can be repeatedly used and reloaded. In most cases, therefore, an injection needle is arranged in a needle unit which can be removed from the injection pen once the needle has been used, such that a new needle unit can be inserted into the pen for the next administering.
Removing the needle unit, however, harbours a certain danger of injury. After the active agent has been administered, the injection needle is exposed and, typically, a protective cover must be put in place or attached.
An injection needle container for storing needle units is known from U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,873,462 and 5,829,589. The disclosed containers comprise an individual hollow space, open to one side, for each needle unit, from which a needle unit can be removed and into which it can be placed again. For returning the needle unit, once used, into the hollow space of the container, U.S. Pat. No. 5,873,462 describes a blocking device comprising a sealing flange on the opening of the hollow space and a sealing ring on the needle unit. When the needle unit is inserted into the hollow space with the aid of the injection pen, the flange and the ring establish a fixed connection, such that the needle unit can be removed from the pen. A collar running inwardly is formed at a suitable level in the hollow space, the needle unit resting on said collar when it is inserted. The needle unit is held fixed in its position in the hollow space by the blocking device and the collar. In U.S. Pat. No. 5,829,589, the blocking device for the needle unit in the hollow space is formed as a screw connection.
It is an object of the present invention to provide a removing device which facilitates removing a needle unit from an injection pen, reduces the resultant danger of injury and infection, and prevents contact with the needle unit.
It is also the object of the invention to provide a container for storing used needle units, into which a needle unit can be safely and easily inserted, without the risk of injury or infection when removing the used needle unit from the injection pen and placing it into the container.
Objects of the present invention are addressed by providing a device for removing a needle unit from an injection device, the device for removing including an opening for receiving the needle unit and a locking structure generally associated with the opening, the locking structure formed in at least one rim area along the circumference of the opening, such that the needle unit can be moved in an insertion direction through the opening after it has been inserted into the opening, and when the needle unit is moved counter to the insertion direction, it establishes a locking connection with the locking structure. In one embodiment, the invention includes a container for receiving and containing at least one used needle unit, wherein the device for removing is operably associated with the container to provide a system for removing and storing or disposing of needles and/or needle units. The container may be generally can-like, having an opening for being operably associated with the removing device. The container may be any suitable shape, it may be disposable or reuseable, and it may be made of any suitable material.
In accordance with the present invention, a device for removing a needle unit from an injection device such as an injection pen comprises an opening for receiving the needle unit, and a blocking means. In at least one rim area along the circumference of the opening, the blocking means is formed such that the needle unit can be moved in the insertion direction once it has been inserted into the opening. When the needle unit moves counter to the insertion direction, however, it establishes a fixed blocking connection with the blocking means in the opening, such that the needle unit is blocked by said blocking connection.
The removing device in accordance with the invention ensures that a needle unit is simply and quickly removed from an injection pen, in that the needle unit can be removed from the injection pen by a simple hand operation, for which it is merely necessary to insert the end of the injection pen with the needle unit into the opening of the removing device. By gently pressing in manually, the blocking connection between the needle unit and the blocking device in the rim of the opening is established. The injection pen is extracted against only a small resistance which arises from detaching the needle unit from the pen. This resistance force is less than the force with which the needle unit is held in the blocking device, such that when the injection pen is extracted, the needle unit can be detached from the pen. In this way, the needle unit can be removed from the injection pen without a user coming into contact with the needle unit, since it lies inside the opening during the whole removing process.
In a preferred example embodiment, the blocking device extends over the whole circumference of the rim of the opening, which is advantageously adjusted to the outer circumference of a needle unit. The blocking device can therefore engage with the entire outer circumference of the needle unit. In order to form the blocking device, a first edge of the rim of the opening in the insertion direction preferably exhibits a larger circumference than a second edge of the opening. The blocking device can for example be formed by a rim of the opening which is conically constricted in the insertion direction. The circumference of the second edge of the opening is adjusted to the outer circumference of the needle unit, such that a clamping connection arises between the opening and the needle unit. Due to the conically constricted gradient of the rim of the opening, the needle unit is easily centred in the opening and can be clamped into the blocking connection against only a small resistance.
The second edge then acts on the needle unit as a sort of holding claw. The holding force of the blocking device is then dimensioned to be just large enough that the resistance against removing the needle unit from the injection pen is overcome. Generally speaking, a force of a few newtons is sufficient.
It is also possible to provide the blocking device using one or more rubber elements arranged on the rim surface of the opening. When the needle unit is pressed into the blocking device, the rubber is compressed and establishes a clamping connection with the needle unit.
Alternatively, the blocking device can also be realised on the opening by a locking means which co-operates with a complementary locking means on the needle unit. This can utilise the advantages of the invention in a system consisting of a removing device and an injection pen including a needle unit. The locking means of the blocking device can for example be realised by a number of grooves arranged in the circumferential direction on the rim surface of the opening. The complementary locking means of the needle unit can accordingly be provided by a number of protrusions arranged in the circumferential direction on the outer surface of the needle unit, wherein care merely needs to be taken that the blocking connection between the blocking device and the needle unit can at least be broken by a needle unit subsequently inserted into the opening and that the holding force of the blocking connection is greater than the force necessary to release the needle unit from the injection pen. It is also possible to use viewing windows, already provided in the needle unit, as locking means and to adjust the locking means of the blocking device, e.g. knobs in the circumferential surface of the rim of the opening, to the arrangement of the viewing window on the needle unit.
Lastly, the blocking device can be provided by a rotational connection between the opening and the needle unit. To this end, at least one but preferably two, at least partially obliquely running guiding grooves are preferably provided in the rim of the opening. A pin arranged laterally on the needle unit is guided through the blocking device along the guiding groove, wherein a number of pins is provided corresponding to the number of grooves on the needle unit.
The guiding groove begins on the first edge of the rim surface of the opening in the insertion direction and leads into a second edge, such that an entry and exit groove part arises for the pins of the needle unit. Between these groove parts, a middle part of the groove having a blocking effect is provided and for this purpose exhibits a greater inclination, for example with respect to the axis of the guiding element, than the entry and exit groove part. It would also be conceivable to form this groove part transverse to the axial direction, i.e. in the circumferential direction. The entry part and the exit part of the groove are therefore arranged offset with respect to each other and connected by the middle blocking part of the groove which runs obliquely or transversely.
When the injection pen is inserted, the pins of the needle unit engage with the guiding grooves. A slight pressure guides the pins along the grooves and rotates them with respect to the entry position, wherein a sort of locking connection arises within the oblique middle part of the groove, for example by a reverse rotational block in the form of a protrusion in the groove. As the injection pen is extracted from the guiding element, the needle unit is removed, against the resistance of the locking position, and can drop out of the blocking device along the exit part of the groove.
In another preferred embodiment of the removing device in accordance with the invention, a cylindrical guiding element comprising an insertion opening for the injection pen is arranged over the opening. The guiding element preferably comprises a receiving tube for the injection pen, arranged such that it can be shifted within the guiding element. The receiving tube has an upper end which protrudes through the insertion opening and out of the guiding element, and a lower end which lies inside the guiding element and comprises protrusions directed inwards. Once inserted into the receiving tube, the injection pen rests on said protrusions, for example via its casing, such that the needle unit protrudes past said protrusions and out of the receiving tube and is directed towards the blocking device in the opening. Lateral protrusions can be arranged on the outer circumference of the receiving tube, said protrusions abutting the inner surface of the guiding element, such that the receiving tube is guided by the guiding element. The axial movement of the receiving tube counter to the insertion direction is then limited by edges protruding radially inwards on the insertion opening of the guiding element, wherein the lateral protrusions of the receiving tube, which protrude outwards, abut said edges. In the insertion direction, the movement is limited by the lower end of the receiving tube abutting the removing device, wherein the needle unit engages with the blocking device in the opening of the removing device and then establishes a blocking connection with said blocking device.
Using the guiding element and the receiving tube, the injection pen can be positioned exactly over and inside the blocking device. This facilitates inserting the pen into the blocking device and because it is exactly guided, the blocking connection requires less force of pressure.
It is advantageous to arrange a biasing element such as for example a spiral spring between the receiving tube and the guiding element. The spiral spring can engage via one end with a lower end of the guiding element and via its other end with the lateral protrusions of the receiving tube. After the injection pen has been inserted into the receiving tube and as the receiving tube is further guided within the guiding element, the spiral spring is compressed until the needle unit engages with the blocking device. When extracting the injection pen, the pressing force merely has to be reduced, and the needle unit is removed from the pen by the spring force of the spiral spring, such that removing the needle unit from the injection pen is facilitated.
As an alternative to the spiral spring, a lever arrangement for activating the receiving tube can be provided in the wall of the guiding element for this purpose. Preferably, the lever can be arranged in a lower area through the wall of the guiding element. When the needle unit engages with the blocking device, the interior end of the lever can for example engage with a lower area of the receiving tube, wherein the external end of the lever can be activated from the outside, such that the receiving tube can again be pushed out of the guiding element. Such a lever can further facilitate removing the needle unit.
The object of the present invention is also solved by a container for storing at least one used needle unit of an injection pen, wherein the container comprises a feeding opening which is provided with a device for removing the needle unit from the injection pen such as has been described above. A needle unit can be inserted into such a container without the user coming into contact with the needle. A used needle unit from the injection pen can be dispensed into the container, to be subsequently disposed of, by a simple hand operation and can therefore be performed quickly and efficiently.
In a container in accordance with the invention, it is on the one hand possible that once the injection pen has been extracted from the removing device, the blocking connection between the needle unit and the blocking device is broken and the needle unit is released, such that it remains loose in the container. On the other hand, the needle unit can be released from the injection pen in such a way that, once the injection pen has been extracted from the guiding element, the needle unit remains in a blocking connection with the blocking device and is only pushed out of or relative to said blocking connection by an injection pen subsequently inserted into the container. A container can of course also be dimensioned such that it can only accommodate one needle unit.
The container can particularly advantageously form a system comprising a transport box which accommodates the container and comprises a repository for unused needle units. A conventional box or carton can for example be used as the transport box. The height of the transport box is preferably adjusted to the height of the container, such that the container is easily accessible when the transport box is opened. When the container is accommodated in the transport box, sufficient space remains in the transport box in which unused needle units can be stored as supplies. The volumetric capacity of the container for used needle units and the volumetric capacity of the repository for unused needle units are preferably adjusted to each other. This means that the repository should not be able to accommodate a greater number of unused needle units than the number of used needle units which can be disposed of in the container. In this way, the system consisting of the container and the transport box forms a practical supply and disposal device for needle units.
Preferred example embodiments of the invention are explained below on the basis of the drawings, which show:
In this example embodiment, the blocking device 7 is provided by a rim 8 of the opening 6 which is conically constricted outwards, i.e. the rim 8 of the opening 6 in the area 5 of the guiding element 3 exhibits a larger circumference on the interior edge 9 a than on the exterior edge 9 b.
In this preferred embodiment, a receiving tube 10 for the injection pen 2 is arranged in the guiding element 3 and can be shifted within the guiding element 3. An upper end 11 of the receiving tube 10 protrudes through the upper opening 4 of the guiding element 3 and out of the guiding element 3. A lower end 12 lies inside the guiding element 3 and comprises protrusions 13 directed inwards, on which the injection pen 2 rests when inserted into the receiving tube 10. The needle unit 1 of the inserted injection pen 2 protrudes past the protrusions 13 and out of the receiving tube 10, towards the blocking device 7.
Preferably, protrusions 14 are arranged laterally on the outer circumference of the receiving tube 10 and abut the inner surface of the guiding element 3. The outer protrusions 14 serve on the one hand to guide the receiving tube 10 in the guiding element 3. On the other hand, they act as abutments for a spiral spring 16 which is inserted between the receiving tube 10 and the guiding element 3 as a biasing element for the receiving tube 10. The opposing abutment for the spiral spring 16 is formed by the lower area 5 of the guiding element 3. The coils of the spring run on the inner surface of the guiding element 3.
It is of course also possible for the system consisting of the container and the transport box to be formed by a unified box, and/or to provide a container with its own repository. To this end, the box and/or container is sub-divided into two areas by a partition wall. One area is fixedly sealed and comprises a removing device in accordance with the invention, preferably as a part of a tilting device, for used needle units. The unused needle units can be accommodated in the other area. This area can be sealed with the aid of a cover which, however, can be opened. The volumetric capacities of the two areas are again adjusted to each other, such that the number of unused needle units, once used, can be accommodated in the sealed area together with the removing device. If no more unused needle units are available, the area for the used needle units is full, and the box and/or container as a whole can be disposed of.
While exemplary embodiments, including preferred embodiments, of the present invention have been described herein, it is contemplated that various modifications could be made without deviating from the spirit of the present invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the scope of the present invention be dictated by the appended claims.
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|FR2760647A1||Title not available|
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US8882706||Dec 3, 2010||Nov 11, 2014||Becton, Dickinson And Company||Pen needle removal device for a drug delivery device|
|U.S. Classification||604/110, 206/366|
|International Classification||A61M5/00, A61M5/32|
|Cooperative Classification||A61B50/362, A61M5/3205|
|European Classification||A61B19/02R2, A61M5/32C|
|Aug 24, 2005||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: TECPHARMA LICENSING AG, SWITZERLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LEHMANN, HANS-ULRICH;REEL/FRAME:016921/0406
Effective date: 20050704
Owner name: TECPHARMA LICENSING AG,SWITZERLAND
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:LEHMANN, HANS-ULRICH;REEL/FRAME:016921/0406
Effective date: 20050704
|Sep 13, 2013||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Feb 2, 2014||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Mar 25, 2014||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20140202